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Happy 31st Birthday MTV! Here is the First Music Video You Ever Played

MTV debut

Join us in celebrating MTV’s 31st birthday! 

On this day in 1981, MTV began broadcasting for the first time. The new cable channel was one of the first to pioneer a new way of music broadcasting. These days, MTV covers everything from shows, to music, to celebrity entertainment to award shows. While you may be in with the latest on the station’s recent news, many of us may not have even been around or paid attention to remember when it first aired, 31 years ago. 

At 12:01 a.m. on August 1st, they played footage of 1981’s space shuttle launch and the 1986 moon landing (both were set to rock music), followed by the first music video in the channel’s history – the Buggles’ ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’.   

The single and video actually came out in 1979 and was featured on the Buggles’ debut album in 1980. While ‘video’ wasn’t exactly new when MTV made its first pick, it did definitely help to set the tone for their vision. Almost 19 years later, on February 27th, 2000, it became MTV’s one millionth video aired.  

With the launch of the channel, MTV also created the position of VJ’s – Video Jockeys, which was a new concept in entertainment.  Modeled after radio’s DJ’s – Disc Jockeys, these presenters were on camera and developed their own fan base as well.  There were five in the original group of VJ’s.  They were J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, and Alan Hunter.   

Interestingly, MTV struggled in the early years, people didn’t even know what ‘music videos’ were.  Legend has it that as they were in their last months of financing, a group of ad execs came up with the slogan, “I Want My MTV” which they recorded famous music artists uttering.  That and the Michael Jackson Video for “Thriller” turned everything around and the rest is history – 31 years of history!   

Join us at The Maria Sanchez Show in learning more about the history of the U.S. and the people that have contributed to the success of our nation. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT. 

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